Scientific name

Typha L.

Common names

bulrush, cattail, cumbungi



Could be confused with

Butomus, Carex, Iris, Sparganium

Native distribution


Species commonly cultivated

Typha angustifolia L. (America)

T. domingensis Pers. (cosmopolitan)

T. orientalis C. Presl (Pacific, Australia, New Zealand)

T. latifolia L. (U.S., Europe)

T. minima Funck ex Hoppe (Eurasia)

Adventive distribution

Several species have been introduced in countries around the world. Typha spp. appear to be highly adaptable and establish easily in most regions.

Weed status

Typha spp. grow prolifically and are often considered pests; they block waterways and choke artificial marshlands.


tall, emergent, narrow-leafed plant

Brief description

Perennial. Stems erect, connected by creeping rhizome. Leaves distichous, sheathed basally, alternate, forming a compact basal rosette; leaf blade linear, emergent; margin entire. Inflorescence a single, cylindrical spike; upper flowers female; lower flowers male; flowers densely packed, individual flowers barely recognizable. Dispersal by numerous aerial and floating seeds and stolons.

Natural habitat

all types of shallow waterways and wet ground

Additional comments

often forms dense monocultures in shallow water; an important refuge for many animals associated with waterways